A developer proposes to raze a warehouse for a hotel in the Tenney-Lapham district | local government
In a change from the hotels that dot Madison’s main thoroughfares, a prominent developer is proposing a modestly sized hotel designed for longer stays that would be tucked away in one of the city’s long-established neighborhoods on the Near East Side.
McGrath Property Group, which has done many projects in the city, and its partners are proposing to demolish a one-story warehouse for a three-story hotel with 52-55 rooms, a cafe and underground parking at 609 E. Dayton St . in the Tenney-Lapham District. The project would also preserve and restore a home at 616 E. Mifflin St.
The Dayton Hotel would offer apartment-style accommodations and attract business and other travelers with longer stays than traditional hotels, McGrath said. The rooms would be larger than a traditional hotel room and would have small kitchens and in-room laundry.
“Madison needs more diverse types of accommodations for people visiting our city,” said Michael Metzger, McGrath’s director of development. “Many travelers are looking for accommodations that are more connected to their communities, which is why the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood is such an exciting location for this project. We believe the hotel will also be an amenity for area residents, allowing them to welcome family and friends to experience their community in a way similar to how they do.
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Placing a hotel in a neighborhood is rare, with the most recent example being the three-story Marquette Hotel at 414 S. Baldwin St. in the Marquette neighborhood, said city planner Colin Punt.
The area surrounding the site consists mainly of two- and three-storey dwellings. The 6,381 square foot brick HE Reynolds warehouse and garage to be demolished was built in 1929 with additions in 1950 and 1956.
“The design of (the hotel) maintains the integrity of the neighborhood and blends in with the character and density of the surrounding homes and buildings,” Metzger said. “The overall building design, site layout, scale of the project, and material selection were all carefully chosen to integrate the project into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.”
The current plan includes a ground floor cafe on Dayton Street which would be an amenity for the hotel and the neighborhood, and, being located on Mifflin Street Bike Boulevard, the hotel plans to have bicycles for guests of the hotel, he said.
The land for the proposed hotel is currently zoned for traditional use, meaning a hotel would require conditional use approval, Punt said. The proposal would also require a demolition permit for the existing warehouse and the lots would need to be combined with a certified survey map. The demolition permit and conditional use are Plan Commission approvals, while the map must be approved by the city council, he said.
Zoning allows for five stories, but we felt that was not appropriate given the location and scale of the surrounding buildings, Metzger said.
Aldus. Brian Benford, 6th Ward, who began representing the site after the city’s redistricting on January 1, said he approached the proposal “with an open mind”. He says he received a few emails concerned about the existing building and parking lot.
As for traffic, visitors are less likely to use a car due to the proximity to amenities, restaurants and attractions which are all within walking distance, and there is excellent access to public transport, including including the future bus rapid transit station located at Blair Street. and East Washington Avenue, Metzger said.
Benford has scheduled an online neighborhood meeting on the project for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The project would be run as an independent neighborhood hotel, and McGrath is working on the process of hiring a management partner that matches his vision, Metzger said. McGrath hopes to begin construction in July 2022 and open in summer 2023.
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